UK-based retailer Marks and Spencer (M&S) is planning to close 14 stores across the country as part of its store modernisation programme, which aims to meet the changing needs of customers.
As part of its transformation plan, the retailer will be closing six stores by the end of April. The affected stores are located at Birkenhead, Bournemouth, Durham, Fforestfach, Putney and Redditch.
According to the new update released by the company, it has proposed to close eight additional stores in Andover, Basildon, Bridlington, Denton (Outlet), Falmouth, Fareham, Keighley and Stockport.
The M&S store modernisation programme is expected to affect nearly 468 colleagues, who would be offered redeployment at other stores before redundancy is considered.
M&S retail director Sacha Berendji said: “We’re committed to transforming M&S for our customers, colleagues and shareholders. Stores will always be an integral part of our customer experience, alongside M&S.com, but we have to ensure we have the right offer in the right locations.
“We don’t want any colleagues to leave M&S and we will work with each colleague individually on what is best for them as we endeavour to give everyone a role. However, we accept in some cases we may have to consider redundancy.
“We believe these changes are vital for the future of M&S and we will continue to accelerate the programme, taking tough but necessary decisions, as we focus on making M&S special.”
According to the new release, the company has reduced store count under its Simply Food opening programme, and it now plans to open 36 owned and franchise outlets over the next six months in Broadstone, Streatham Hill and St Albans.
The new stores will create 1,200 management and customer assistant roles.